I recently got the chance to talk to Jason Maza about his role in ‘The Tapes’. Here, Jason talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and which three guests he would invite to dinner…
Hey Jason. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film ‘The Tapes’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
The film is essentially about a group of friends from a town where nothing exciting ever happens. In an attempt to fill the void, one of the group decides that she wants to go on ‘Big Brother’, so the trio set out to make her an audition tape, whilst out filming they have an altercation with a local resident and that sparks a chain of events that leads them into a load of danger.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play the character of Danny, he is a bit of a drip, he tries to play the tough man in front of his girlfriend but really he wouldn’t hurt a fly. He’s besotted by his girlfriend Gemma – she’s way out of his league and is using him as a complete stop-gap to bigger and better things. Of course, with Danny being naive, he doesn’t see that.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I received a phone call from the director Scott Bates saying he had this idea for this low-budget horror film and wanted me to be involved, I’d already worked with Scott Bates on a film called ‘Rise Of The Footsoldier’ and he’s a good friend so…
How would you say this film is different and unique to other horror films?
Well it’s the first “UK” found footage film…films of this nature have always been about the Americans so I think it’s great that Britain is having a go. And more importantly, we also think it’s the first ever found footage film which features a black character.
Be honest – are you a fan of the current ‘Big Brother’?
Since it’s been on Channel 5 I haven’t seen one episode…so I can’t say I am. I’d love to sit here and say I hate all reality TV but I can’t.. Some of the shows are my guilty pleasure…E4’s ‘Tool Academy’ makes me chuckle.
The film stars your good self, Natasha Sparkes, and Arnold Oceng – with Lee Allison and Scott Bates onboard as directors. What was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
Rubbish…all of them were useless…I’m joking of course. It was a relative small crew and cast, so everyone got really close very quickly. It was actually a really lovely shoot and the actors involved are brilliant.
Let’s talk a bit about you Jason. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
Luckily my parents put me into a Drama club from a young age, I loved it from the first week and since then I haven’t wanted to do anything else.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the UK industry?
My advice would be to work hard. A lot of people say in this industry you need a bit of luck…and yes you do, but what I will say is this – the harder you work, the luckier you’ll become.
You’ve been in a number of film and TV projects – who has been your favourite actor/actress to work with so far?
Oooooh hard one.. I’ve been so lucky to work with so many talented people I could literally name 50. But I suppose to date I’d have to go with Bob Hoskins. I did a film with him called ‘Outside Bet’, (which comes out next April) and I got to spend 3 weeks with him, listening to his amazing stories and just sponge learning as much off of him as I could.
And adding to the above – which have been your favourite TV shows/films to work on?
Again I’ve been a very lucky boy but I’d go with ‘Demons Never Die’ – it was a film very close to my heart. I got to play an amazing part and just loved everyone involved in the process. The director Arjun Rose was a close friend.
What is currently on your I-Pod right now?
I’ve been playing Ed Sheeran’s ‘+’ on repeat for ages…it’s a great album.
If you could have dinner with three guests (living or dead) who would they be and why?
- Martin Scorsese – surely one of the greatest film makers ever, and I find many of his films so inspiring. I could talk to him about ‘Goodfellas’ forever.
- Lee Evans – he’d be the funny man, keeping us all amused. Love this guy – an extremely talented individual.
- Michael Jackson – possibly the most important musician of all time, and one of the most fascinating people to ever live. Plus I’d expect him to get up and perform after dinner obviously.
What’s coming up for you in 2011/12?
2012 should be very exciting, ‘Demons Never Die’ comes out on DVD on Jan 30th, then romantic comedy ‘The Knot’ is out Feb and ‘Outside Bet’ is out April, so fingers crossed it’ll be a good year.
Thanks for the interview!